by Carlo Odello
Trainer and member of the board of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters
In the September/October 2012 issue of the Global Coffee Review, Michelle Gass, Starbucks President EMEA, told about the flavour of the latte (according to the American-style recipe), judged by consumers from United Kingdom as being too…milky. Therefore, Starbucks had to work hard to create the right balance between coffee and milk.
In a recent training course with Japanese students, the Italian cappuccino, made with 25ml of espresso and 125ml of frothed milk, was thought to have a too low olfactory intensity as far as milk was concerned. This is probably due to the fact that in Japan the proportion of milk in coffee-based drinks has become more and more high, according to the American coffee style, where the longer the drink is, the better it will taste.
In short: in recent years, the world of coffee has been diluted by milk, and the Japanese case above shows how this has shaped the sensory trends. However, the fact that Starbucks has decided to take a step backwards gives us cause to hope for a greater balance between coffee and milk.
And, why not, you could even consider moving on from Latte Art, which has now probably reached peaks of graphomaniac autoeroticism, to a more balanced, and complex, Coffee Art.